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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-04-2011, 12:52 PM
diddraw diddraw is offline
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Location: Miami, FL, USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 528i
98 528 Highway Speed Misfires

Hello,

My 528 is experiencing misfires only at highway speeds. The car will seem to have a severe random misfire that almost feels like a stall then will recover, however it will also shake from less severe misfiring will accelerating at highway speeds or going up hills as well as once slowed down on an exit ramp. The mild shaking will stop once the car is shut off and restarted. It only throws codes for random misfires on all cylinders which clear up after a month or so of pure city driving.

All coils, boots, and spark plugs were recently replaced. No oil or fluid in spark plug wells. Valve cover gasket recently replaced. Also Crankshaft position sensor recently replaced, would a wire harness on its way out cause these problems? Or is there another problem, from what I have read it seems like it may be the fuel pump starting to go?

Thank you
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  #2  
Old 11-04-2011, 04:27 PM
Jase007 Jase007 is offline
Wrenchin' fool ...
Location: nova
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 762
Mein Auto: e39 528it
Quote:
It only throws codes for random misfires on all cylinders which clear up after a month or so of pure city driving.
Are you saying the misfires are speed dependent? (... only highway speeds) Does "pure city driving" mean you don't tip into the throttle or place the engine under load?

Quote:
All coils, boots, and spark plugs were recently replaced.
This would be the first place to look but .. assuming they were replaced correctly and ground straps re-attached ... sounds like you have this covered.

Parts of your post suggest that the misfire occurs when you place the engine under load (accelerating, up hill, dipping into the throttle) which normally means that the ignition system can't handle the call for more juice. This would normally prompt you to look at misfire codes and move a coil/boot, reset and then drive again ... chasing the code.

Let us know if it is speed dependent or engine load dependent.

Other thoughts:

Put a fuel pressure test gauge on the schrader valve on the fuel rail and test for ~ 50 psi pressure. If your '98 doesn't have a schrader valve, plumb the fuel pressure gauge into the fuel delivery lines with a "T" fitting.

Change the fuel filter recently?

Run the car to empty often?

Have you inspected the intake rubber boot(s) for cracks?

Let us know more details on the how and when it happens and we'll give it our best shot of Internet diagnosing.
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  #3  
Old 11-04-2011, 04:32 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Location: Calgary
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 530iA
Fuel filter (old) or fuel pump starting to go?
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  #4  
Old 11-04-2011, 05:50 PM
diddraw diddraw is offline
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Location: Miami, FL, USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 528i
The fuel filter and boot were replaced a year ago when I was tracking down another misfire that was a vacuum leak. So that track should be good. I dont run it to empty, very occasionally less than a quarter or right as the light turns on but I fill it up almost as soon as that happens.

As far as when it happens, it is speed and time dependent. The most noticeable is when I am driving from Miami to Virginia. This is when it did the severe misfire that felt like a jerk or stall, it does this randomly at cruising without changing speed or going uphill etc. The light will come on usually within 30 minutes to an hour of highway speeds. It usually takes 1:30 to 2 hours before the severe misfire. After 3 to 4 hours it will start to shake under load and when I come to a stop when exiting.
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  #5  
Old 11-04-2011, 05:55 PM
diddraw diddraw is offline
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Location: Miami, FL, USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 528i
Also, if I do need a new fuel pump, is that a reasonable replacement with just basic tools? I think I remember seeing somewhere that I would need to remove the rear seat and open a panel or something in order to get access to the pump.
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  #6  
Old 11-04-2011, 06:19 PM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Location: Omaha NE
 
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Posts: 12,761
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Random misfire involving many cylinders may be vacuum-related.

You may want to read this DIY for 1998 528i:

Oil Line ---> Vanos, CCV, ICV and Alternator Air Duct (E39)
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=379225
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  #7  
Old 11-04-2011, 10:05 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 20,486
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Well, now that you know it's vacuum or fuel, you can test the air:fuel ratio using hints over here ...
- How to diagnose a BMW E39 engine misfire (1)

See also:
- Where is the fuel system pressure test Schrader valve for the I6 (1) and for the V8 (1) (2)

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  #8  
Old 01-05-2012, 10:07 PM
bagodonuts68 bagodonuts68 is offline
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Location: ND
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 169
Mein Auto: e39 wagon (silver 528)
I too just noticed while driving on the highway at 82mph or so what felt almost like a mild misfire when going uphill. No codes were thrown and no lights came on. It felt almost like the tranny was doing something odd but the rpms were steady and there was no apparent loss of power. It was quite windy and i thought it might just be the car getting jostled by a cross wind (i had skis and snow shoes on a ski rack on top of my 2000 528 wagon with 168k miles) but there was no correlation between wind noise and the phenomonon. It seemed like a very slight misfire... so slight that i was the only one in the car who noticed anything amiss. (admittedly the other passengers--5yr old, 10 yr old and my wife--were too caught up in bickering, palm gadgetry and cell phone monologues to notice even the beauty of central montana scenery). I recently had a used tranny (purportedly with only 65k miles on it) put in and have imagined a slight delay when engaging drive or reverse so maybe its all just general paranoia.

any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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  #9  
Old 09-21-2012, 02:34 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
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Location: Thousand Oaks CA
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 844
Mein Auto: 1997 528i
I am having this same issue, happens freeway speeds under load (even a slight uphill). I replaced the knock sensor and it helped but the problem persists. Someone posted to clean the throttle valve/body, I think I'll do that next.
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  #10  
Old 09-21-2012, 02:54 PM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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Location: Brooklyn
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 464
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 528i
Lets get some updates going from either of you who solve or figure out your problem. Hardly no one ever posts an update.
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